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Chapter 18: The Late Romantics Responses to Romanticism.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 18: The Late Romantics Responses to Romanticism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 18: The Late Romantics Responses to Romanticism

2 Key Terms Classicism Double stops Cross-rhythms Romantic nostalgia Parody Round

3 Responses to Romanticism After 1850, music continued to develop along Romantic lines Seemed increasingly out of place in a world devoted to industrialization & commerce Music became an emotional fantasy-world for a society that suppressed feelings in real life Composers responded in different ways Brahms used Classical models to temper Romanticism’s unbridled emotionalism Mahler’s music laments Romanticism’s loss of innocence & credibility

4 The Renewal of Classicism: Brahms Rejected many early Romantic innovations Went back to Classical genres & forms Wrote string quartets & other chamber works, symphonies, and concertos Found new life in Classical forms – sonata form, theme & variations, rondo Beethoven’s music was a lifelong model Brahms was inspired by his nobility & power Brahms tried to temper the richness & variety of Romantic emotion with Classicism’s strength & poise

5 Johannes Brahms ( ) Son of a bassist in Hamburg Started musical studies at age 7 Later played piano in taverns & wrote tunes Met Robert & Clara Schumann at age 20 They befriended & encouraged Brahms Part of Brahms-Wagner controversy Signed manifesto against Wagner’s music Uneventful bachelor existence in Vienna Steadily wrote symphonies, concertos, piano works, chamber music, German Requiem, etc.

6 Brahms, Violin Concerto in D Concertos written to show off virtuosos Often the composer – e.g. Mozart or Chopin Brahms wrote this one for Joseph Joachim Joachim helped out, even wrote 1st movement cadenza Brahms uses Classical movement plan Three movements, fast-slow-fast 1st movement double-exposition sonata form Last movement rondo form, the most common Classical concerto ending

7 Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (1) Rondo theme has a spirited gypsy-like lilt Exoticism – gypsy fiddling popular in Vienna Double-stops add to virtuoso fiddling effect Cross-rhythms at the end disrupt meter

8 Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (2) Episodes provide various contrasts Romantic sweep in B Lyrical tune in C Short cadenzas feature soloist

9 Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (3) Thematic transformation in coda Swinging march version of rondo theme (over a drum beat) in very fast compound meter

10 Romantic Nostalgia: Mahler Embraced Romanticism’s excesses Wrote huge program symphonies, some with solo singers and choruses Often attempted to express profound spiritual or metaphysical messages He once said a symphony is “an entire world” But he could not fully enter this Romantic fantasy world He pits lost innocence against cynical realism Music feels uneasy, exaggerated, distorted

11 Gustav Mahler ( ) Born & raised in a dysfunctional family Musical training at Vienna Conservatory Pursued rising career as a conductor Led many of the finest orchestras of his day Ten years at Vienna Opera – but anti-Semitism made for a stormy tenure there Ended career with Metropolitan Opera & New York Philharmonic Could only compose during the summer Wrote 10 long symphonies & 6 song cycles

12 Mahler, Symphony No. 1 At first a one-movement symphonic poem Grew into a five-movement symphony Finally revised into four movements Includes fragments from his songs Songs about lost love Originally a program symphony Hero overcomes distress of lost love Individual style of orchestration Contrapuntal melodies pass from instrument to instrument in kaleidoscopic fashion

13 Third Movement: Background March inspired by a nursery picture The Huntsman’s Funeral Procession Forest animals shed tears as they follow the hearse of a hunter Full of pomp & ceremony – torches, solemn gowns, a banner, pallbearers, a bell, a choir, & a complement of mourners Why would animals mourn the death of their tormentor in such a lavish manner? The painting’s innocuous qualities mask its incongruities

14 Third Movement: Use of “Frère Jacques” Similar incongruities pervade the March On first hearing the music seems genuinely solemn, mournful, perhaps even tragic This feeling is completely deflated when you finally recognize the tune – “Frère Jacques”! Distortions make the tune harder to recognize Mahler casts the tune in minor mode, slows down the tempo, & alters a few notes Tune introduced by the last instrument you would expect – a bass playing in high register Vulgar dance band phrases also deflate mood

15 Third Movement: Funeral March (1) Very free march-trio-march form Ironic funeral march & personal lament March theme a distorted minor-key parody of children’s round “Frère Jacques” Trio taken from a Mahler song about lost love March theme treated as a round Over mournful, monotonous drumbeat

16 Third Movement: Funeral March (2) Section 2 present dance-band fragments Exaggerated, parodistic, even vulgar phrases Return to funeral-march motives at the end

17 Third Movement: Funeral March (3) Trio offers a complete contrast Begins with warm major-mode sounds Trio’s theme is a delicate, lyrical melody Tune from a nostalgic song about lost love Its innocent quality soon turns bittersweet

18 Third Movement: Funeral March (4) March returns in final section Faster tempo with new counterpoints Dance-band phrases interrupt at even faster tempo for a wild moment of near chaos Return of funeral-march motives that ended Section 2 – the music dies away


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